I started the PROES program yesterday. It is an ex-offender reentry program. I am enrolled in the ARRIVE component-Access to Re-entry Resources Increases Viable Employment. It's really pretty nice. It's run by three ex-convicts who have all obtained advanced degrees. Federally funded it maintains a strong support services department. Already, they've given me a ten dollar gas card with more to come. The program offers help with interview clothing and transportation. They also offer employers five hundred dollars per person if they will agree to hire you.
The class is a mix of rowdy ex-cons, thugs and people who are trying to be more than they currently are. Our sessions are filled with laughter, argument and thoughtfully given (though sometimes inappropriate) comment.
Their purpose is to challenge and to help us confront our own criminality. Until our thinking and therefore our behavior changes we will continue to be the drain on society that we have inadvertently become. Mainstreaming us is the goal. I heartily embrace it.